Poll Says People Pick Watching Movies At Home Over In Theater 
Home Theater News Industry-Trade News
Written by Jerry Del Colliano   
Monday, 20 June 2005

In an AOL-AP poll three out of four people said that they prefer to watch movies at home over going to the theater. This points to a possible cause as to why Hollywood is currently suffering through one of its worst slumps in 20 years, despite the box office success of the latest and last Star Wars film.

DTV (sets than can show HDTV) are selling at a brisk pace with reports showing more than 1,000,000 sets being sold in North America per month. HDTV, which is increasingly found on satellite and digital cable TV, remains red hot with a picture quality that rivals film but allows Americans to watch movies at home. DVD-Video and creative new ways to rent films like NetFlix make watching a movie at home increasingly simple, affordable and easy.

All of these factors are driving the booming sales of home theater systems. Today a high performance home theater system can be purchased for about $5,000 complete with an HDTV set, 5.1 surround, HDTV DVR and other goodies. At higher levels and as Generation X ages and invests more into real estate, the idea of a home theater or media room is becoming the focal point of new and renovated homes. High end home theaters start from around $25,000 and can top the $1,000,000 mark for equipment, seating, control and interior design for one room.

What will Hollywood do if the slump continues at the box office? First step is they will try to make better movies to draw people out of their homes. They might also delay the DVD release of films so people don't think that the movie in the theater today will be available in four months on DVD. The best option for Hollywood is to embrace the new HDTV disc formats so that they can sell their new and back catalog movies right into peoples homes and cars all over again. HD-DVD and Blu-ray are disc formats about 1 to 2 years away from being commercially available and can play back movies in 5.1 surround with HDTV picture. The big hurdle for these formats other than a rumored possible deal that would merge the two formats into one – is Hollywood. The studios are scared that if they let their movies out on an HDTV disc that they will lose control of their content in near master quality levels. The music business got paranoid about protecting their materials and it allowed Napster to knock them down and then allowed Apple to ruin the album concept leaving them selling singles again. Hollywood movies studio might be paranoid as well, but they aren't that foolish.

Source: CNN

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